The Day the Crayons Quit/Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

Thursday, August 1, 2013



So there I was, at Children's Book World in Haverford, to hear Elizabeth Wein talk about her passion for World War II, her adventures in flying, and the thoughts she had while slicing an onion, which led her to the tremendous success we all know as Code Name Verity. (This is how the big stuff happens, folks. A long-time passion for a period in time, personal passion for a hobby like flight, and knife work. Also, slicing the onion must have made some sort of imprint on Elizabeth's storytelling sensibilities for, as she related last night, her books make many people cry, including Elizabeth herself).

I arrived early, because I love that place, but also because I was on the hunt for The Day the Crayons Quit, that new uber-bestselling picture book that my friend Michael Green of Philomel helped guide into existence.

People have been buzzing about this book since the BEA (and probably before that, but I wouldn't know, because I'm rarely in the know). My first trip to another bookstore earlier in the day had left me empty handed. But there I was, at Children's Book World, and there we were, the crayon book and me—just two copies left. One for the beautiful, age-appropriate family sitting on the step reading, and one for moi.

This adorable book is just what its title promises—a klatch of overused (except for Pink), big personality (let's leave White out of this), stripped down (I'm looking at you, Peach), niggling (spoiler alert: Yellow and Orange are at war), and negotiating (oh, Green, thank you for breaking type and defeating envy in favor of peace keeping) crayons that have decided to have a word or two with little Duncan, who finds a stack of letters in his waxy box.

I wrote "age appropriate" a few sentences ago, but don't think my old age stopped me. I bought a copy of this book for myself, because I do believe that nothing is more universal, and more endlessly appealing, than an excellent picture book.

This is an excellent picture book.

(Also, these books are going fast. Better get one for yourself real soon.)


5 comments:

Serena said...

So, shall I get it for my little one...it must be good if you wanted one.

The1stdaughter said...

LOVE This book! SO much!

(And it has nothing to do with the fact that this was the publisher that bought my first client picture book...well, maybe I just love it that much more. A little bit.) ;o)

Sarah Laurence said...

I wish I could have been there to see you again and to meet Elizabeth in person. I'm drying my eyes after just finishing her ROSE UNDER FIRE. It's marvelous too.

That picture book does sound fun. A good story is ageless.

E Wein said...

it was wonderful to meet you! My ruby slippers come off rather well in that picture if I do say so myself. Wish we had more time.

Also, as I told you that night, I too am a fan of The Day the Crayons Quit.

Mandy King said...

Oliver Jeffers is amazing. I love all his picture books. And he's just as nice in person.

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